The Behaviour of Moths is called The Sister in America, and I can see why there are two different titles, as there are two distinctive stories in the book. The first is the story of Ginny, an elderly lady who is reunited with her sister after 47 years apart. They struggle to revive their friendship, as we slowly learn the events which led to their separation all those years ago.
The story of the sisters is woven with Ginny’s fascination with her father’s work as a leading lepidoptorist, studying moth behaviour. I found the descriptions of moths completely fascinating. I never realised there was so much to learn about them. I found this particularly interesting:
“If you cut through a cocoon in mid-winter, a thick creamy liquid would spill out and nothing more. What goes into that cocoon in autumn is a caterpillar and what comes out in spring is entirely different: a moth, complete with papery wings, hair-like legs, and antennae. Yet this same creature spends winter as a grey-green liquid, a primordial soup.”
Poppy Adams clearly loves the natural world, and I hope she writes more about animal life in the future, as I think this is where her talents lie.
It’s not the best story in the world, but it is reasonably entertaining. I recommend you read it for the moth facts alone!